Two and a half years after expanding the conversation around Silicon Harbor’s perfect intersection of tech and creative jobs, and a high quality of life, DIG SOUTH officially opened its Silicon Harbor Welcome Center. Housed in their 637 King St. office, the space is “a one stop shop for people who need more information about startups and technology and creative industry businesses,” said Stanfield Gray, Founder and CEO of DIG SOUTH. The Welcome Center’s comfortable couches, tree stump coffee tables, and long wooden community table give it a living room semblance. It’s a place you’d feel comfortable walking into as a Charleston visitor.
DIG SOUTH has been successfully spreading the word that tech and creative entrepreneurs and professionals can succeed in the south. After fielding calls from businesses interested in connecting with local companies, or even expanding or moving their business to Charleston, Gray decided a physical space for information-seekers would make a difference.
Another DIG SOUTH milestone, the inauguration of the annual Silicon Harbor Shindig, happens Friday, October 3 from 7 to 10 pm at Harborside East in Mount Pleasant. Gray said “the festival created a great buzz and energy around Charleston but our reach is national… so we wanted a fall event that was… really a celebration of Metro Charleston’s tech scene.”
Overlooking the water with a drink in hand, live music, and like-minded company, the SHINDIG will embody the very conversation that spurs DIG SOUTH. The party, Gray said, “gives you a chance to reflect on Charleston as the perfect intersection of quality of life and job opportunity… and Silicon Harbor is literally a metaphor for that combination.” The Shindig is also an opportunity to celebrate the greater Metro Charleston startup community. Silicon Harbor spans much more than the peninsula, and the Town of Mount Pleasant (a Shindig sponsor) is excited to be recognized as a Silicon Harbor advocate as well.
The evening celebrates more than the opening of the Silicon Harbor Welcome Center. The DIG SOUTH team will also announce the ticket launch and exciting new programming for next spring’s festival. The Shindig similarly celebrates the growth of Metro Charleston, and Silicon Harbor specifically, calling attention to the results of the 2014 Regional Economic Score Card, which will be released on October 2nd.
The scorecard is compiled by the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the College of Charleston, SC Biz News, and a task force of industry professionals. It will not only identify where the Charleston metro area is growing, but it will also inform the community of what elements of the infrastructure need improvement. As the fastest growing sector in our local economy, the results are crucial to the continued success of Silicon Harbor. They also help organizations like DIG SOUTH accurately represent the area to newcomers and prospective residents who might approach the DIG SOUTH Welcome Center and other resources.
DIG SOUTH’s expansion via the Silicon Harbor Welcome Center and the addition of an annual Silicon Harbor Shindig is a central component to the growth of Silicon Harbor.
“A lot of people are curious about what’s happening down here and will move to the region if they can make it work,” Gray said. “Hopefully, we can be a little part of convincing them to do that.” The Silicon Harbor Shindig and the DIG SOUTH Festival give greater Charleston an opportunity to join the effort as well. In Gray’s words, “Let’s keep the momentum going, let’s keep the conversation super hot.”
Tickets to the Silicon Harbor Shindig are limited to only 300. Purchase HERE.
Listen to our podcast interview with Stanfield Gray.